NEWS | Support is available for students as they receive their A-level and GCSE exam results this month

Support is available for Herefordshire students as they receive their A-level and GCSE exam results this month

Students across Herefordshire are set to receive their A-level results on Thursday 13 August. 

The Government has issued guidance for schools and colleges to follow a clear set of safety procedures including social distancing, hand washing and parents waiting outside school when students collect their results.

The guidance also confirms that A-level results will not be released to students until 8am, rather than 6am as in previous years. However, individual schools and colleges will be making their own arrangements on how students receive their results.  The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and higher education institutions are not expected to communicate any confirmation decisions while the results are under the 8am embargo.

GCSE results will be available on Thursday 20 August, and similarly, GCSE students will be able to collect their results from their school or college in the morning from 8am.  Students should check arrangements with their school or college first as collection times may be staggered to minimise contact and mixing as far as possible to adhere to guidance on social distancing.

Following the cancellation of the summer 2020 exams due to Coronavirus, students will be provided with calculated grades this year to enable them to progress to further study or employment. There has been a lot of national attention on the grading process and the situation is still developing at a national level. This includes the recent announcement of taking the results of mock examinations into consideration.

Exam boards have been working to standardise grades to ensure consistency of judgements between different schools and colleges, using a model developed with the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

Councillor Felicity Norman, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:

“I would like to wish Herefordshire’s hardworking students the best of luck with their A-level and GCSE results and also with the next steps in their career, whether they choose to continue into further education, apprenticeships or other training, or employment. We know how much time and effort students have put into their education. This pandemic has meant that they have missed out on the opportunity to sit exams, but their hard work, talent and dedication are not in any way lessened by the fact that grades will be awarded this year.

“We acknowledge that this has been an extremely challenging year and results day will bring uncertainty to some. However, there will be the opportunity for students to appeal against their grades if they feel that they have been unfairly penalised by this year’s process.  The Department for Education has also announced that there will be an opportunity for students to re-sit exams in the autumn.  Support will be available from schools and colleges to help students with their decision on whether to appeal or re-sit.” 

The following organisations are also offering support and advice to students on where to go next following receipt of their exam results.

The National Careers service will be operating a temporary Exam Results Helpline from Thursday 13 August, to provide information on appeals, complaints, or on the next steps once students have received their results. Students can speak to careers advisor by calling 0800 100 900.  The service will be available from 8am to 10pm 7 days a week. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.  Further information can be found on the nationalcareers.service website

The Ofqual student support phone line 0300 303 3344 is available for students who want to find out more about how they were graded, the autumn exams series and to make an appeal or raise a concern about bias or discrimination.  Lines open from 9am to 5pm weekdays, with extended hours during results weeks. Calls are charged at the standard network rate.  Additional information is available on the Government website www.gov.uk/guidance/your-results-what-next including a student guide to post-16 qualification resultsand a summer 2020 qualification explainer tool.

UCAS can provide information on university admissions 0371 468 0 468.  Lines open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 6pm, calls are charged at the standard network rate.  Information is available through their website ucas.com

For those students looking to improve English, maths or IT skills, the gov.uk website has details of the different local training and also offers information about apprenticeships

Save the Student are offering online advice for sixth form and college students on the next steps to take if they are unhappy with their A-level results.

Mental health support is available through the following organisations

  • Visit the YoungMinds website or Text YM to 85258         
  • Visit the Childline website, call 0800 1111 or visit their exam results support page        
  • Students can call and ask for an emergency appointment through their GP surgery or call NHS 111.
  • More information about local and national mental health and wellbeing support is also available on the Wish website.